What is Burglary?

The Minnesota legislature codified laws against burglary under statute §609.582. This statute is available for the public to view here. According to the statute, burglary is categorized into four different degrees:

  • Burglary in the First Degree

    According to Minnesota Statute §609.582, subdivision 1, a person commits burglary in the first degree when s/he:

    1. Enters a building without consent and with intent to commit a crime; or
    2. Enters a building without consent and commits a crime while in the building, either directly or as an accomplice;
    AND
    1. The building is a dwelling and another person, not an accomplice, is present in it when the burglar enters or at any time while the burglar is in the building;
    2. The burglar possesses, when entering or at any time while in the building, any of the following: a dangerous weapon, any article used or fashioned in a manner to lead the victim to reasonably believe it to be a dangerous weapon, or an explosive; or
    3. The burglar assaults a person within the building or on the building’s appurtenant property.

    The maximum possible sentence for burglary in the first degree is imprisonment for twenty (20) years, a $35,000 fine, or both. Anybody convicted of “occupied dwelling” must serve a minimum six (6) months in jail.

  • Burglary in the Second Degree

    According to Minnesota Statute 609.582, subdivision 2, burglary in the second degree is divided into two parts: private property and government property. A person commits burglary in the second degree when s/he:

    1. Enters a building without consent and with intent to commit a crime; or
    2. Enters a building without consent and commits a crime while in the building, either directly or as an accomplice;
    AND
    1. The building is a dwelling;
    2. The portion of the building entered contains a banking business or other business of receiving securities or other valuable papers for deposit or safekeeping and the entry is with force or threat of force;
    3. The portion of the building entered contains a pharmacy or other lawful business or practice in which controlled substances are routinely held or stored, and the entry is forcible; or
    4. When entering or while in the building, the burglar possesses a tool to gain access to money or property.

    A person also commits burglary in the second degree when s/he:
    1. Enters a government building, religious establishment, historic property, or school building; 2. Enters said building without consent and with intent to commit a crime;
    AND
    1. Enters a government building, religious establishment, history property, or school building; and
    2. Enters said building without consent and commits a crime while in the building, either directly or as an accomplice.

    The maximum possible sentence for burglary in the second degree is imprisonment for twenty (20) years, a $20,000 fine, or both.

  • Burglary in the Third Degree

    According to Minnesota Statute 609.582, subdivision 3, a person commits burglary in the third degree when s/he:

    1. Enters a building without consent and with intent to steal or commit any felony or gross misdemeanor crime while in the building; or
    2. Enters a building without consent and commits a felony or gross misdemeanor crime while in the building, either directly or as an accomplice.

    The maximum possible sentence for burglary in the third degree is imprisonment for five (5) years, a $10,000 fine, or both.

  • Burglary in the Fourth Degree

    According to Minnesota Statute 609.582, subdivision 4, a person commits burglary in the fourth degree when s/he:

    1. Enters a building without consent and with intent to commit a misdemeanor crime (other than to steal); or
    2. Enters a building without consent and commits a misdemeanor crime (other than stealing) while in the building, either directly or as an accomplice.

    The maximum possible sentence for burglary in the fourth degree is imprisonment for one (1) year, a $3,000 fine, or both.

  • Defenses

    A burglary conviction on your record can have devastating consequences, as burglary is a labeled a “violent crime.” It is important to find an aggressive Minnesota criminal attorney to fight for your rights and assert all possible defenses. For example, the State must prove you either committed or intended to commit a crime while within the property. Challenging probable cause is an integral defense strategy, as the State bears the burden to probe two different crimes—entry into the building and committing a crime or intending to commit a crime therein. Without a Minnesota criminal defense lawyer, you could face days, months, or even years behind bars. When you’re charged with burglary, don’t take a risk with your defense. Hire the right defense attorney who understands the system and isn’t afraid to fight for your rights.

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